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The 31 best OS X games for Mac

The best games to play on your Apple Mac

Our list of the best OS X games for Mac continues...

Best OS X games: Crusader Kings 2

Historical strategy on a grand scale, and with a distinctly European focus. This is as much about raising a dynasty, heirs and marriages and all, as it is conquering your foes. Crusader Kings II is all about the big, distant picture, not the small fight right before your eyes.

Best OS X games: EVE Online

In a just world, this massively multiplayer, spaceship-based roleplaying game would have spawned a new age of thoughtful, player-driven virtual worlds. Sadly it didn't, and instead everything just copies World of Warcraft instead. No matter though - EVE is still going strong, and while it offers about the steepest learning curve in gaming once you've got to grips with it you're in for an ever-changing universe of galactic war, devious politics and a fully fledged in-game economy.

Best OS X games: Football Manager 2013

The ultimate football game, one of the UK's perennial best-sellers and the single most effective way to wave goodbye to at least a month of your life. Football management simulators don't come more detailed than this - though the price paid for that is that the long-running series has all but closed the door on inexperienced players by this point. The 2013 version has a special, cut-down classic mode to help with this, but really you want the full-fat version.

Best OS X games: FTL: Faster Than Light

Effortlessly disproving the claim that there's nothing new under the sun, FTL mixes up roleplaying, strategy and spaceship sims to come up with something fast, surprising, hilarious and utterly unfair. It's spaceship command with none of the complicated science but all the tension, and it was one of the best games of 2012, on any platform. FTL: Faster Than Light review.

Faster than light

Best OS X games: Half-Life 2

The poster child for singleplayer PC shooters finally moved to Mac a couple of years ago, and everything survived intact. An amazing post-alien-invasion/ruined city setting, a compelling plot and plenty of action against now-iconic enemies, human and otherwise. Sure, it's traditional on-rails stuff, but few other action games are as finely crafted as this.

Best OS X games: King’s Bounty: The Legend

Strategy and roleplaying put into a blender, with added surreal humour (e.g. the option to marry zombies and perform dragon dentistry). King's Bounty is akin to the more famous Heroes of Might & Magic series, with its turn-based battles and roaming adventures in between, but it cranks up the silly, ditches the unnecessary weight and just gets on with being a carnival.

Best OS X games: League of Legends

Bit of a cheat this one, as what's on its way to being the most popular game in the known universe isn't officially available on Mac. However, there's a third party way to get this massive MOBA (a sort of high-speed, ultra-competitive strategy game) working on OSX. The iLoL project should get you up and running - and, like the PC version, it's entirely free-to-play. Though you won't be able to resist buying new characters.

Best OS X games: Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes

Officially speaking it's a game for kids, but don't let that stop you. A delightful, wildly imaginative mash-up of plastic bricks and every superhero in the DC Comics stable, Lego Batman's building, jumping and thumping is at its best when played with a faithful sidekick - or your equally-thrilled offspring. LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes review.

Lego Batman

Best OS X games: Plants vs Zombies

Speaking of all-ages games starring iconic characters, this tower defence game starring anthropomorphised plants and cute zombies will put a smile on almost anyone's lips. Technically it's a strategy game of a sort, but in practice it's more of a high-speed, comedy puzzle starring zombies on tractors. Plants vs Zombies review.

Plants vs Zombies

Best OS X games: Proteus

A game entirely without action, and with it a demonstration of just how much more can yet be done with the entire medium. A surreal pixel-art world packed with amazing sights, beautiful music and the all-too-precious opportunity to just sit and watch the stars dance, the sun set or abstract frogs bound into the sea: Proteus is a game to make you feel better about life.

Best OS X games: Serious Sam 3: BFE

If Proteus is the antidote to first-person shooters, Serious Sam 3 is the other extreme: everything turned up to 11, everything beyond implausible and able to generate the death tolls of every Arnie movie combined within the space of five minutes. It's absolutely ridiculous, and it absolutely knows it. It also manages to look pretty amazing even as the endless bullets fly. Serious Sam 3: BFE review.

Serious Sam 3

Best OS X games: Starcraft II

Like its stablemates World of Warcraft and Diablo III, this real-time strategy game has about as much soul as an investment banker watching a Michael Bay movie, but it's beyond polished. It's strategy as a perfectly-tuned engine, and its multiplayer battles between future-humans, Alien-like horrors and otherworldly energy-creatures are legendary in their competitiveness and balance. Singleplayer is self-regarding nonsense, but superficially spectacular with it. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty review.

Best OS X games: Team Fortress 2

The stablemate yet polar opposite of Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2 is multiplayer first-person shooting for everyone. Brimming with character and humour, offering an array of different playable classes to suit all play-styles and now also free-to-play (though you can spend money on new weapons and costumes if you like), it's a dead-cert good time despite being a half-decade old by this point.

Best OS X games: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Sweeping, amazing-looking, adult-orientated roleplaying in a fantasy setting that avoids Tolkienesque stereotypes. Elves and dwarfs are racial outcasts, magic is terrifying and deadly, and political duplicity has as much power as the sword. It's the game you want if you're a big Game of Thrones fan, basically. It's equally lascivious mind, so don't play it in company. The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings review.

The Witcher

Best OS X games: The Walking Dead

Mean-spirited comic, tedious television serial - and now deeply moving videogame. Who'd a thunk it? The Walking Dead was perhaps 2012's biggest gaming surprise, managing to turn the story of a zombie outbreak into a sweet, sometimes shocking tale of family and friends. The 'game' element can be disputed, but even if you rarely do much more than choose conversation options, you'll nonetheless find yourself utterly engrossed in the fate of The Walking Dead's characters. The Walking Dead (Episodes 1&2) review.

The Walking Dead

Best OS X games: World of Goo

An ingenious, hilarious, ever-changing and slightly sinister puzzle game. What could have been Angry Birds with balls of giggling goo instead embraces sweeping ambition, gorgeous animation and a steady stream of surprises. A true classic, and so much more than the sum of its low-key parts.

Best OS X games: Torchlight

Sometimes you just want to go into a dungeon and hit stuff over and over again. Torchlight has you sorted, and unlike its arch-rival Diablo III it doesn't take itself too seriously in the process. It's all about collecting bigger and better weapons, slaying 200 monsters a minute and feeling that wonderful/terrible compulsion to keep on going, to keep on click-click- clicking, forever. Sadly the bigger, sillier sequel hasn't made its way to Mac yet, but it's only a matter of time.

Best OS X games: World of Warcraft

The MMO to end all MMOs - a huge, and hugely popular, virtual world of dwarves, goblins, gnomes and were-people so famous that you've probably seen adverts for it in the cinema.

It might be past its glory days by now, but it's still enormous and still striving to do new things with the age-old formula of beating up monsters and levelling up. Sadly the super- detailed cartoon world is rather more mechanical than it might appear, but WoW remains a sure-fire way to kiss goodbye to months of your life.

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